Federal Communications Law Journal

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64 Federal Communications Law Journal 1 (2011)


The Supreme Court of the United States does not always deal cogently with nontraditional language. The most recent example is FCC v. Fox Television Stations, in which the Justices became sidetracked into attempting to define the f-word and then to determine whether, when used as a fleeting expletive rather than repeatedly, the word is indecent for broadcast purposes. The Court would do well to avoid definitions and heed Justice John Marshall Harlan's advice in Cohen v. California to provide protection for the emotive, as well as the cognitive, element of speech